13 Thanksgiving table decor ideas – for a stand-out seasonal tablescape

Bring beautiful, cozy character and inviting seasonal styling to your dining table this Thanksgiving with our collection of inspiring Thanksgiving table decor ideas

Thanksgiving table decor ideas, pink and blue Thanksgiving tablescape, colorful patterned tablecloth on Thanksgiving table, close up of green and yellow Thanksgiving table
(Image credit: Birdie Fortescue | Tuckernuck | Amanda Reynal, Adam Albright Photography from Blitzer & Company)

Beautiful Thanksgiving table decor ideas are key to making your holiday meals with friends and family feel that little bit more special and unique.

Whether you go traditional with your Thanksgiving decor ideas, and style your table with pretty pumpkins and fall foliage, or prefer to try out new looks and decorations year after year, our ideas can cater to every taste, budget and timetable.

‘Fill your tables with feasts for the eye not just the stomach,' says interior designer, Cindy Rinfret. 'I love to create a festive table, and the holidays are just the time to be playful, creative and use anything you find beautiful that reminds you of Thanksgiving.’

Cindy Rinfret
Cindy Rinfret

Cindy Rinfret, principal designer of Rinfret, Ltd. has been creating iconic interior design and defining true “Classic Greenwich Style” for thirty years. Best known for her luxurious yet comfortable design aesthetic, Cindy is an internationally renowned designer, with high-profile clients.

Impress your friends and family with charming Thanksgiving table decor

From spectacular Thanksgiving centerpiece ideas and autumnal arcadias, to quirky crockery and luxurious tableware, we've spoken with a collection of design experts, who have shared their favorite Thanksgiving table decor ideas to help you create a dreamy seasonal scheme.

1. Lay a beautiful tablecloth

Colorful thanksgiving tablescape

(Image credit: Tuckernuck)

For many, the foundation of any successful Thanksgiving tablescape is a beautiful tablecloth. A chance to enrich your dining table with beautiful color, pattern and texture, it is an easy Thanksgiving decor idea to embrace to give your dining room a quick spruce up for the season.

We love this Sharp Floral Tablecloth from Tuckernuck Home, creating an uplifting and almost summery feel, perfect for a more fresh and modern Thanksgiving look. When laying the rest of your table, choose tableware and accessories that complement the colors and design of the tablecloth, guaranteed to establish a colorful and coordinate look.

Alison Howell, design and development manager, at Burleigh also suggests, 'my favorite way to start to dress a table is with a linen tablecloth, ensuring it more than adequately covers all sides of the table. There should be a good amount of ‘drape.’ Next, add your placemats in a textural, contrasting material, such as jute or rattan for an on-trend look. From there, build your setting with a deep-hued, floral charger plate, opting for a style with a rich pattern that will work as a border as you layer up the next plate, and finally a bowl, depending on the menu. Mixing and matching floral, patterned ceramicware will add pops of color to your table, making each table setting unique.'

2. Style your table with pretty pumpkins

Colorful green and yellow Thanksgiving table

(Image credit: Amanda Reynal, Adam Albright Photography from Blitzer & Company)

Pumpkins aren’t just for Halloween – swap the spooky vibes for homey, harvest ones and incorporate them into autumnal-themed Thanksgiving table decor to give them a new lease of life. 

While a larger, real pumpkin might be better suited for a pumpkin planter centerpiece, miniature gourds and unique faux pumpkins make great partners to individual table settings, and can be piled up in small displays, or peppered down the length of a long table as an informal runner. 

3. Create a more modern, minimalist seasonal look

Minimalist Thanksgiving decor ideas, simple tablescape with candles, tableware and flowers and foliage

(Image credit: Chloe Deane, photography by Sumaira Amber)

'Let's address the elephant in the room, how do you move seamlessly from fall table decor ideas to Halloween table decor to Thanksgiving and on to Christmas table decor without spending huge amounts of time reworking your decor?' asks Lucy Searle, editor in chief, Homes & Gardens.

'I think the answer is to start with a very simple base that you can keep from the beginning of fall right through to New Year, and that you simply dress, undress, and redress, on repeat.

'Scandinavian decor is a great way to do this: start with an linen cloth and simple glass candle sconces, then look to more minimalist Thanksgiving decor, with subtle touches of autumnal colors  – red, orange, green – to make the table feel festive. Come Christmas you can redress the table by stripping out the orange and substituting it for gold.'

Lucy Searle
Lucy Searle

Lucy Searle has written about interiors, property and gardens for over 30 years, starting within the interiors departments of women's magazines before switching to interiors-only titles in the mid-1990s. In 2018, Lucy took on the role of Global Editor in Chief for Realhomes.com, taking the site from a small magazine add-on to a global success. She was asked to repeat that success at Homes & Gardens, where she has also taken on the editorship of the magazine, which is the UK's oldest interiors magazine at 103 years old. Lucy is a serial renovator and also owns rental properties in the UK and Europe, so brings first-hand knowledge to the subjects she oversees.

4. Choose a one-color theme for impact

Thanksgiving table decor in green

(Image credit: Future)

Looking for smart Thanksgiving party ideas for your table? Cut down the noise and choose a one-color scheme. 

Fall color schemes look warm and inviting but you might want to switch things up for evening events, and choose an elegant nature-inspired all-green scheme. A few pieces of green china or glassware can create the overall effect if matched with everyday white china, then you can boost the look with wonderful fall flowers and foliage.

5. Decorate your Thanksgiving table with a garland

Thanksgiving table with candles

(Image credit: Future)

Why not adapt Christmas table garlands for Thanksgiving? We love the autumn abundance collection from Balsam Hill, with their glorious faux garland featuring a wonderful palette of fall color and natural seasonal accents.

'The easiest Thanksgiving table garland is a simple length of garland that can be left in place if you have secondary serving surfaces, or that can be lifted when you are ready to put sharing plates in the middle of the table,' says Jen Ebert, digital editor of Homes & Gardens. 'However, I also love to see a line of small vases filled with fall foliage and blooms, and they're really easy to move off the table if you need the space.'

Jennifer Ebert
Jennifer Ebert

Jen is the Editor (Digital) of Homes & Gardens. Before starting this position, she had completed various interior design courses at KLC Design School, as well as working across Ideal Home, LivingEtc, 25 Beautiful Homes and Country Homes & Interiors as an interiors writer.

6. Opt for a more rustic tablescape

Thanksgiving table decor ideas with table setting with dahlia

(Image credit: Dan Duchars)

For rustic Thanksgiving decor ideas, choose linen napkins in rich fall shades of orange for your Thanksgiving table decor. Here the Adam Lippes Coquille dinner plate is teamed with Esio tortoiseshell cutlery from Oka. Loosely tie rope or yarn around your napkin with a seasonal flower, or a faux one – it makes an effortlessly graceful napkin holder. 

7. Create a cozy atmosphere with candles

Thanksgiving table decor

(Image credit: Alexandra Kaehler, Photography by Aimée Mazzenga and Styling by Cate Ragan)

‘Add candlelight and more candlelight,’ says designer Lindsay Anyon Brier. Thanksgiving is the time to get out your best candles and create a warm, inviting atmosphere for your guests. 

Candles can can also introduce wonderful height, color and texture to your Thanksgiving table, as shown with the two tall candles used on this stylish tablescape  designed by Alexandra Kaehler, creating a simple yet elegant effect.

Lindsay Anyon Brie
Lindsay Anyon Brier

Lindsay Anyon Brier has spent over fifteen years in the world of interior design. A graduate of Dartmouth College and a founding member of the Dartmouth Alumni Association for Architecture and Design, she is also a professional member of the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) and is certified by the National Council for Interior Design Qualification (NCIDQ).

8. Style your table with inviting floral displays

Colorful Thanksgiving table

(Image credit: Birdie Fortescue)

What better way to celebrate the changing of the seasons and bountiful harvests than through styling your Thanksgiving table with inviting natural accents. 

Decorating with flowers will always bring beautiful character, color and texture to a space, and there are so many lovely seasonal varieties to choose from during fall and winter, as we explore in our fall flower and winter flower pieces.

Whether you use a large vase of flowers for a table centerpiece, or or opt for smaller arrangements for Thanksgiving table setting, real and faux flowers can look beautiful on a table – we love the look of decorating with dried flowers.

9. Forage for organic fall decor

Fall table decor

(Image credit: Piglet in Bed)

Fall decor should be all about celebrating the changes we see in nature over the course of the season – and at Thanksgiving in particular, it’s good to add a personal touch. 

‘I forage for branches like maple or pheasant feathers and bundles of bittersweet branches,’ says interior designer Beth Webb. ‘I will drape all these throughout the tables, and freshen up with new additions each day.’ 

Heading out into your local streets, parks and woodlands is a great way to find organic items to include in your table decor – just remember to forage responsibly. In this example, white poinsettias and ferns are built on with foraged pine cones and branches.

If you fancy a Thanksgiving craft idea, why not make your own Thanksgiving wreath or garland from your foraged finds.

10. Break from tradition with fresh patterns and colors

Minimalist Thanksgiving decor, blue tablescape with candles, colorful tableware

(Image credit: Birdie Fortescue)

‘Put a fresh spin on the traditional Thanksgiving colors when setting your table this year,’ suggests home decor designer Joanna Buchanan. You may be tempted to stick to tried and trusted fall color schemes, but letting go of the necessity to major in browns, reds and oranges can lead to reinvigorated schemes. 

We love this fresh blue and white tablescape designed by Birdie Fortescue, which creates an elegant contrast with the warming neutral walls and natural chairs, the use of flowers and candles also add just the right dose of coziness and warmth.

11. Shop for unique seasonal tableware

Pottery Barn Thanksgiving serveware and accessories

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

The holidays are a great time to bring out the wilder side of your crockery collection. ‘These days, there are lots of amazing places where you can buy unique and quirky dining sets,’ says Jessica Hanley, Founder of Piglet In Bed. ‘Darkly colored tableware is very ‘in’ this autumn, so you might want to opt for shades like navy and black. If dark isn't your thing, look at crockery available in seasonal warm shades such as burnt orange or forest green. Get creative and don't be afraid to mix and match contrasting shades.’

A beautiful array of different tableware, in different shapes, colors, sizes and finishes, can create a wonderfully layered, collected and eclectic look.  As Alison Howell from Burleigh says, 'from the tablecloth, upwards, you should think about ways to add different textures, patterns, and colors to add dynamic depth to each setting. Within these layers, you could keep to tight color schemes or delve into the world of clashing prints, but the trick is to ensure you build from the base.'

12. Pare it back for a more contemporary scheme

Thanksgiving table decor ideas with a simple grey linen tablecloth, woven placemat and floral plate

(Image credit: Piglet In Bed/Olive & Co)

If you’re looking for table decor that will fit in with modern dining room ideas, consider keeping it simple. Try a simple white tablecloth and greenery from the garden to bring a touch of Scandinavian crispness to their dining room, and embrace more neutral, earthy color palettes.

This autumnal setting by Piglet In Bed uses heavy textured linen and woven placemats for a cozy but natural scheme. ‘For a more contemporary holiday setting, I use browns, golds and cranberry accents with my pheasant mats,’ says designer, Cindy Rinfret. ‘The mixture of texture is sophisticated and fabulous and a modern take on the holiday. I also fill a glass bowl with water as an arrangement with cranberry flowers and floating candles.’ 

13. Show your side tables some love, too

Pottery Barn flowers and foliage

(Image credit: Pottery Barn)

Your dining table isn’t the only table in the house that deserves a little bit of a Thanksgiving spruce up – it’s likely not even the only table in the dining room. If you have a serving table, drinks station or buffet in the dining area, ensure you show these spaces some decorative love  too.

In this example, a living room coffee table has been adorned with a cozy collection of seasonal decoration, creating a homey and inviting display for coffee table decor ideas, the design features this stylish faux flower arrangement and pumpkin candle from Pottery Barn.


How do you set up a Thanksgiving table?

A Thanksgiving table needs to feel that bit more special than your average dinner party table. Adding a centerpiece or decorative runner is a great way to elevate your table decor and create something specifically seasonal. The holidays are also an excellent excuse to get out your best (or quirkiest) silverware, glassware and crockery. 

‘Linen napkins are a great way to tie your tablecloth and place settings together or to add color to an otherwise neutral table,’ says Jessica Hanley from Piglet In Bed. ‘For an extra touch, you could use some twine or string with a small autumnal flower or leaf to tie the napkins together. You can even quickly make up some name cards to sit on top of your napkins adding that extra special, personal touch.’

What is traditional Thanksgiving table decor?

The great thing about truly autumnal decor is that the best pieces can often be found rather than bought. 

The changing seasons not only serve as excellent inspiration for interior decor, but also produce an organic bounty of treasures that look great in our homes. Head out to your surrounding green spaces and collect fallen leaves, berry-laden branches, pine cones and more to use for a centerpiece, either held in vases, piled up in bowls or strewn along the table as a natural runner. 

As well as flowers and foliage, decorating with pumpkins will always prove timeless for Thanksgiving – and, of course, for fall and Halloween too.

'Thanksgiving table decor is an opportunity to create interest and spark conversation between you and your guests. Don’t shy away from familiar fall tones or holiday motifs, but instead find ways to accentuate a freshness within them,' says interior designer, Kristina Khersonsky from Studio Keeta

From a beautiful new tablecloth to a table adorned with layers of foliage, candles and ornaments, you can be as simple or as maximalist as you like with Thanksgiving table decor; your chosen decorations should simply work to make your dining space feel a little bit more special and unique for the season.

Ailis Brennan
Contributing Editor

Ailis started out at British GQ, where a month of work experience turned into 18 months of working on all sorts of projects, writing about everything from motorsport to interiors, and helping to put together the GQ Food & Drink Awards. She then spent three years at the London Evening Standard, covering restaurants and bars. After a period of freelancing, writing about food, drink and homes for publications including Conde Nast Traveller, Luxury London and Departures, she started at Homes & Gardens as a Digital Writer, allowing her to fully indulge her love of good interior design. She is now a fully fledged food PR but still writes for Homes & Gardens as a contributing editor.

With contributions from